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Almost a year in Texas

I’ve been living here for almost a year now, and while it has been tough in some ways, I’ve also had a lot of fun and it’s been a good growing experience to be truly on my own in an unfamiliar city. Here are some of the highlights in my first year in the Lone Star State:

  • The weather. Yes, the temperature is usually higher than 90 degrees every day from May to October, but it’s predictable. You get into a rhythm – you just know every day it’s going to be hot and humid, and you try to minimize exposure to the heat by rushing from your air-conditioned apartment to your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned office and back again in the afternoon. If you’re daring enough to spend time outside, or (gasp) exercise outside, you drink a ton of water and deal with it. It’s usually more refreshing to then come back into your air-conditioned box. The winter had a few chilly days, but overall wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed DFW’s reaction (or lack thereof) to several inches of snow and ice the week of the Super Bowl in February. By all accounts, it was a complete disaster. Roads weren’t plowed or salted, sidewalks had inches of ice on them, and Cowboys “Stagium” had ice fall off the roof and injure workers. But, hey, we had a few days off from work, so it was all good!
  • Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket: I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this before living in DFW. This station is gold. The morning and afternoon drive time shows are fantastic. Between Gordon Keith’s famous impersonations, which range from Jerry Jones to Nolan Ryan and Billy Tubbs, to Mike Rhyner’s thick Texas drawl discussing the Texas Rangers or Dallas Mavericks, it’s incredibly entertaining and worthwhile sports radio. Beats the heck out of WFAN or any other ESPN radio affiliate I’ve ever listened to. If I don’t stay in DFW, I’ll make every effort to listen online or to podcasts because the stuff they talk about is awesome.
  • Shiner Beer and Blue Bell Ice Cream:  Terrific Texas-native products. Tasty beer, tasty ice cream.
  • Central Market: Wholefoods on steroids. From the free samples to world-class selection, this place rocks. Plus, the little restaurant areas inside each store sell some really unique and delicious meals.
  • Learning about the Texas-based Big 12 schools. Definitely picked up an appreciation for all of them.
  • Jim Knox: His antics during Rangers games and Big 12 football games are ridiculous, but hilarious. Seeing it on a fairly-regular basis is great.
  • DFW Jets Fans – highly amusing group of people, ton of fun to watch the Jets games with this past year.
  • Living within 15 minutes of two major airports – I’m almost equidistant to DFW and Dallas-Love Field. Both have their advantages and drawbacks, but regardless, if you need to leave DFW, it is easy. So nice to have that convenience after having to spend the last 4 years driving 2+ hours to get to a major airport.

I’m sure I’ll think of some more as I go to sleep tonight, but regardless, these are the first things that come to mind.

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